Max youth sentence for boy in liquor store robbery

A 15-year-old boy has been handed a maximum youth sentence of three years custody and community supervision for a violent liquor store robbery a judge says impacted not only the people he attacked, but the entire city.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/05/2020 (1040 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A 15-year-old boy has been handed a maximum youth sentence of three years custody and community supervision for a violent liquor store robbery a judge says impacted not only the people he attacked, but the entire city.

“This is the type of incident likely to cause some Winnipeg residents to pose the question to themselves whether the city is as safe as they thought it was, or, if this could happen in the middle of the afternoon in a busy shopping mall, is anybody safe anywhere in the city?” provincial court Judge Dale Schille said Tuesday.

“The impact of these offences is not restricted to the individuals involved, it has impacted the community in a broader way,” he said.

The boy previously pleaded guilty to five counts of robbery, three counts of assault, and one count each of mischief and uttering threats in connection to the robbery last November at the Tyndall Market mall Liquor Mart and the mayhem that followed.

An unprecedented rash of Liquor Mart thefts and robberies in Winnipeg last year resulted in a security overhaul at all locations, including the introduction of secured entryways and controlled admissions. The Tyndall Market location was in the process of renovating its entryway at the time of the robbery.

“It is stating the obvious to observe security measures deemed to be a necessary response to the unrelenting wave of crime will have a significant impact on the convenience and privacy of every patron of Manitoba liquor stores in Winnipeg going forward,” Schille said.

The teen, appearing in court via video, sat with his head hung down for much of the 45-minute sentencing, rarely glancing up to the camera.

Court has heard the accused teen, an adult accused, Nucian Kennedy, and another accused youth wearing a mask and armed with a knife stormed into the liquor store shortly before 4 p.m. and started scooping up bottles of liquor, yelling at staff not to look at their faces.

Security video captured the boy approaching a female staff member at a cash register and punching her in the face. The woman retreated to an office as the boy turned his attention to another staff member, Randi-Lee Chase, standing behind a service counter, and without warning or provocation punched her in the face.

Security footage of the robbery previously provided to the court showed Chase on the floor as she suffered a prolonged seizure. She was taken to hospital in critical condition and had a fractured jaw.

After assaulting Chase, the boy grappled with a male staff member before escaping the liquor store and fleeing through the mall.

Separated from his two co-accused, the boy threatened to stab two women at a travel store and demanded money. The teen assaulted one of the women and broke her glasses before running out of the mall and threatening a teen who was sitting in his mother’s Chevy Silverado. After failing to gain entry into the vehicle, he tried to rob two women of their purses before a male relative who was coincidentally at the mall tackled him to the ground and held him for police.

“Virtually all the violence was of a gratuitous nature inflicted upon persons who were offering no resistance or challenge,” Schille said.

The boy’s lawyer said he was extremely intoxicated at the time of the robbery and had no memory of the event.

According to a pre-sentence report and forensic report provided to court, the boy has shown remorse for his actions and “appropriate empathy” for his victims.

Court heard the boy grew up in a supportive and loving home in Little Saskatchewan First Nation, but fell into the gang life and substance abuse after moving to the city in 2016.

Schille said the boy’s prospects for rehabilitation are good, but a lengthy period in custody is necessary to address his substance abuse issues and gang associations, both risk factors were he to be released.

Schille credited the boy nine months for time served and ordered that he serve another nine months of his remaining sentence in secure custody. The remainder of his sentence would be split between open custody, allowing for temporary absences from jail, and community supervision.

“I recognize that you are feeling very guilty for what happened,” Schille told the boy. “Fortunately for all of us, few among us are judged by the worst thing we have done in all our lives and you certainly have, as a young person, the ability to move forward and do whatever you want with your life.”

Dean Pritchard

Dean Pritchard
Courts reporter

Someone once said a journalist is just a reporter in a good suit. Dean Pritchard doesn’t own a good suit. But he knows a good lawsuit.


Updated on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 7:07 PM CDT: Adds security video

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